In this IELTS Academic Reading Vocabulary lesson, I look at a paragraph on education and mathematics from the IELTS 10 book by Cambridge University Press. I analyze the high-level vocabulary and expressions in this paragraph. For your convenience, I’ve copied the link down below but I do recommend the video lesson.
I recommend doing this kind of exercise with as many reading tests as you can. They are very useful for learning new vocabulary and improving all four of your IELTS skills.
How to use Reading Tests to Study IELTS Academic Reading Vocabulary
- IELTS reading tests are excellent for vocabulary study (and grammar).
- Nearly every paragraph has a lot of high level words, collocations, set phrases, synonyms, and more.
- You can use your previous reading tests to improve your academic vocabulary tremendously.
- And you can be sure that this vocabulary is useful for the IELTS because it’s already on a sample test!
- In this lesson we’re going to look at a paragraph from an IELTS sample test, and analyze some of the great vocabulary from it.
Sample Reading Test Paragraph
Occasionally, in some difficult musical compositions, there are beautiful, but easy parts – parts so simple a beginner could play them. So it is with mathematics as well. There are some discoveries in advanced mathematics that do not depend on specialized knowledge, not even on algebra, geometry, or trigonometry. Instead they may involve, at most, a little arithmetic, such as ‘the sum of two odd numbers is even’, and common sense. Each of the eight chapters in this book illustrates this phenomenon. Anyone can understand every step in the reasoning. The thinking in each chapter uses at most only elementary arithmetic, and sometimes not even that. Thus all readers will have the chance to participate in a mathematical experience, to appreciate the beauty of mathematics, and to become familiar with its logical, yet intuitive, style of thinking.
Source: Cambridge IELTS 11 (2016)
Vocabulary Highlights – Words & Expressions
- musical compositions
- So it is
- do not depend on…not even on
- specialized knowledge
- illustrates this phenomenon
- at most only…and sometimes not even that
- appreciate the beauty of
- logical thinking
- intuitive thinking
Suggestions for IELTS Academic Reading Vocabulary Practice
- Put the words and phrases you don’t know onto flash cards.
- One side is the sentence without the word/phrase.
- The other side is the word/phrase.
- After reading the paragraph several times, try to rewrite the paragraph by only looking at the vocabulary words/phrases you have selected. Compare your version with the original to see what is different.
- Look up more example sentences using a dictionary or search engine (like Google). After that, write your own example sentences.